Six years had passed since that mysterious night. Six uneventful years. Day had searched tirelessly for any clues that could tell her who that man was. The next morning was the first time Day had set foot in her father's study since his disappearance. Nothing was out of place; it was exactly as she remembered it, minus her father. After months of sneaking in and out of the study, Day finally gave up on the encounter.
For six years, whenever the memory surfaced, Day told herself it was just a dream. She was certain of it. That was, until a few nights ago.
Now, Day awoke with a start, confused by her surroundings at first. She was in the study, in her father's dusty, leather office chair. Looking out the large window behind her, she saw that the moon had already risen. She looked at the book in front of her, and her eyes fell upon a spot of drool. Embarrassed, she hastily wiped the puddle off the page with her sleeve. Day sighed, wondering if she would actually find anything this time.
The house was eerily quiet, and Day tried not to think about it. Finally, she stood to stretch. That was when she heard something shatter in the living room.
"Bravo?" Day called, wondering if her cat had knocked over the lamp again. "Bravo, what are you doing?" she asked, as if her cat might reply. As Day poked her head out into the hall way, Bravo, her gray kitten, rubbed up against her ankles. "There you are," she said, picking him up. He purred.
Day turned to go back to the desk, catching something moving in the corner of her eye. "Hey, mom? Is that you?" There was only the eerie silence to reply. Day's heart began to beat faster.
The house was pitch black. Day tried not to bump into anything, and kept one hand on the wall to guide her. She could scarcely see her hand in front of her face. "Hello?" she called again. She heard the study door slam shut behind her. Bravo, startled, dug his claws into her arm until she dropped him. He disappeared somewhere in the darkness. She found the light switch at the end of the hallway, but the power seemed to be out.
She could hear a door creak open at the other end of the hallway. Day was frozen in her spot, paralyzed with fear.
Something was watching her, she could feel it. She wanted to scream, but didn't know how. Day could hear it moving closer, breathing in hollow gasps. She wished it wasn't so dark, so she could see whoever was there.
A memory surfaced, forcing Day to focus upon her mother's words that now echoed within her head.
"Ružan’s shadows were everywhere—a silent pair of eyes and ears. Sometimes they took shape, doing his bidding whenever they were told to."
No, she thought. No, they're not real. They can't be real. A fat tear drop rolled down Day's cheek.
"The Shadow Kids they were called—children could never be trusted with secrets."
Day held her breath as she felt a burst of air whisk past her, a hand reaching out from somewhere in the darkness and cradling her face, wiping the tear away. It whispered something she couldn't understand.
A light came on from the kitchen that was miles away, and like that, the shadow was gone. The dark didn't seem as dark anymore, and Day found that she could breathe again.
"Day?" It was Finn. She wanted to answer him, to call out and tell him she was in the hall way. But instead, all she could do was sob. "Day?" he called again. She could hear him approaching, his feet shuffling on the carpet. "Day, what's wrong?" He knelt beside her, pulling her into a fierce hug.